Andrew Oldcorn will take a two stroke lead into the final round of the Van Lanschot Senior Open after the Scot played himself into contention to become the seventh maiden winner of the 2010 European Senior Tour season.
The 2001 PGA Championship winner fired a superb 66 to move to nine under par for the tournament at The Royal Haagsche Golf and Country Club in The Netherlands.
Oldcorn posted seven birdies, and just the one bogey when he three putted the 11th hole, to move clear of Argentine Luis Carbonetti, who carded a 68, and compatriot Gordon Brand Jnr, who is a further stroke back after a 66.
After turning 50 at the end of March, Oldcorn has made a solid start to life on the Senior Tour, finishing as leading European in the US Senior PGA Championship in tied eighth place and posting three other top ten finishes in six appearances.
However Sunday’s final round in The Hague will be the first time he has been in the final group and firmly in contention to capture some silverware.
“I’m delighted with how it went today,” said Oldcorn. “I felt a lot better physically today and I played some good golf, especially on the front nine and holed a couple of 20 foot putts.
“The stability of my round was mainly made on the front nine and I got a bit tired on the back nine with the heat but I’m really proud of the way I finished, grabbing a couple of birdies on the last four holes when I was really tired. That has given me a bit of a margin for tomorrow.
The three-time European Tour winner admitted he fancied his chances prior to the tournament and is hoping he can see the job through and join Kevin Spurgeon, Boonchu Runagkit, Tom Lehman, Brand Jnr, Marc Farry and David J Russell as first time winners on the Senior Tour in 2010.
“One or two people came up to me at the beginning of the week, before I’d even seen the course, and said it was right up my street and it is,” he said. “The cornerstone of my game over the years has been pretty straight, accurate driving. If I can combine that with decent putting on a course like this I’ll expect to do well and so far that’s what’s happened.
“Being in this position is what I have been striving to get to for the last month or so. My game has been improving each week and I’ve been fortunate that I’ve cut out the mistakes I was making. I’ve put myself in a good position but it’s all about where I am with six holes to play.
“If I’m still there with six holes to play I’ll relish that. I’ve not been in that position for a long time so I’ll be nervous in the morning but I’ll look forward to it.”
Irishman Des Smyth posted eight birdies but blotted his scorecard with a double bogey on the seventh hole - his 16th after starting on the tenth tee - to sign for a 66 and move to finish in a group of five players on four under par.
Former Ryder Cup winning Captains Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam are some distance off the pace in a share of 66th and 53rd place after rounds of 79 and 74 respectively.